UK railway round-up


This week’s roundup of news from the UK railway industry.

GWR introduces reduced timetable in response to Covid staff shortages

GWR timetable

Great Western Railway (GWR) is introducing a temporary reduced timetable this weekend in response to staff being absent or self-isolating due to Covid.  

The temporary timetable reduction comes into effect from January 8, ensuring that the rail company can provide the majority of its planned trains.

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Months of strikes set to cause disruption to London’s Night Tube

Travellers in London are being warned that strikes by Tube drivers could cause “severe disruption” to night services on weekend evenings until June.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) will walk out on Friday and Saturday evenings from this weekend on the Central and Victoria lines in a dispute over rosters.

Rail firms defend decision to axe hundreds of trains

Rail firms have defended their decision to axe hundreds of daily trains amid coronavirus-related staff shortages.

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The Rail Delivery Group (RDG) industry body said the introduction of emergency timetables with reduced frequencies would create a more reliable service and fewer short-notice cancellations.

TikTok trainspotter Francis Bourgeois signs with global talent agency

Francis Bourgeois

Social media’s favourite trainspotter Francis Bourgeois has expressed his excitement as he signs with international talent agency YMU Group.

You may recognise Francis Bourgeois, real name Luke Nicolson, from TikTok and Facebook with his joyful videos documenting his love for trains. He has amassed two million followers since starting his account in lockdown.

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Go-Ahead halts share trading amid Southeastern rail scandal


Shares in train firm Go-Ahead Group have been suspended to give its auditor more time to finalise delayed full-year results in the wake of the Southeastern franchise scandal.

Go-Ahead said it was working with accountancy group Deloitte to get its earnings for the year to July 3 2021 published “as soon as possible”, with the results expected before the end of January.

Rail disruption on first morning commute of 2022

Rail passengers were hit by disruption on the first working day of the year in England and Wales due to a combination of faults and coronavirus-related staff shortages.

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No London Overground services were able to run between Clapham Junction and Surrey Quays on Tuesday morning due to a fault on a train.

Latest Service Updates

Gatwick Express  – Gatwick Express services remain suspended until further notice.
Hull Trains – Hull Trains are currently running a reduced service, in line with passenger demand and current government advice.

Transport For London Status

If you need to travel this weekend, here are planned works that may affect your journey.

  • RMT STRIKE ACTION: There is planned strike action every Friday and Saturday night between 20:30 and 04:29 the following morning from Friday 7 January until Sunday 19 June. 
  • CIRCLE LINE: Saturday 8 January, no service between Edgware Road and Liverpool Street (via Victoria)
  • DISTRICT LINE: Saturday 8 January – Sunday 9 January, no service between Whitechapel / Edgware Road and Wimbledon / Kensington (Olympia) / Richmond / Ealing Broadway.
  • DOCKLANDS LIGHT RAILWAY: Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 January no service between Poplar and Beckton. Replacement buses operate
  • HAMMERSMITH & CITY LINE: Saturday 8 January, no service between Whitechapel and Barking, use District line services.
  • HAMMERSMITH & CITY LINE: Sunday 9 January, no service between Hammersmith and Baker Street.

Our transport network has never been cleaner. Imperial College London run monthly tests for coronavirus on the transport network and found no trace. You can read their recently published report.

Air continuously flows through all our trains, trams and buses. For example, on average, air in a Tube train changes every few minutes. Buses are fitted with air extraction and ventilation systems and we also leave windows open throughout the passenger area to keep a flow of fresh air.

Please continue to walk or cycle part of your journey where possible. If using public transport, travel during quieter times if you can. This will make social distancing easier. The quieter times to travel are:

  • Between 08:15 and 16:00 and after 17:30 on weekdays
  • Before noon and after 18:00 on weekends

Our TfL Go app can help you plan your journey and show the quieter times to travel. 

You must continue to wear a face-covering over your nose and mouth at all times when on the transport network, unless exempt. The overwhelming majority of people are complying with this requirement, and the British Transport Police, the Metropolitan Police and our own officers are on the network to check compliance. Fines of up to £6,400 exist for anyone who does not comply. 

Please also wash or sanitise your hands before and after travel.

London Underground Status

Due to the coronavirus, the following service changes will be in place until further notice. Please plan ahead and check before you travel.

  • CHRISTMAS DAY: No service on any London Underground line on Christmas Day.

London Overground

LONDON OVERGROUND: Sunday 9, Monday 10, Tuesday 11, Wednesday 12 and Thursday 13 January, from 2245 each night, no service between Hackney Downs and Chingford. Use London Underground connections between Liverpool Street and Walthamstow Central. Replacement buses operate.

Check before you travel and plan your journey ahead of time.

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